The Sleep Blog

..cos we all need sleep

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sleeping Problems Older People Experience

Sleep is important for our health and daily function. However, as we get older it becomes more difficult for us to get a good night sleep. Some of the sleep problems experienced by most elderly people are taking a long time to fall asleep, waking up a lot at night, waking up very early in the morning, and a combination of all or any of these. Since an adult needs an average of seven to nine hours of sleep each night, it becomes a challenge for many elderly people to make sure they are getting enough rest for healthy aging.

Here are some of the common sleep problems older people experience and the ways to deal with them.

sleeping-problems.jpg 1) Getting to sleep

If you wish to reduce the time it takes for you to get to sleep, then you should try doing the following: have a hot bath to help you relax, read, or meditate. You should avoid gambling, socializing, and computers or other electronic gadgets as they tend to overexcite your brain. Make sure not to sleep during daytime and avoid drinking alcohol or coffee before going to sleep.

2) Waking in the night

Most elderly people wake up in the night at least once whilst others wake up several times either because of acid reflux, pain or to go to the toilet. The most common cause of sleep loss among older adults is nocturia. It is the frequent need to get up at night to go to the bathroom and urinate. Around sixty-five percent of adults aged 55 to 84 have experienced this at least a few nights every week. If ever you empty your bladder two to three times every night, then it’s time for you to see your doctor.

3) Waking up earlier

As we age, we tend to change our daily routine and get less exercise. These can greatly affect our sleep. You can improve the quality and length of your sleep by spending more time outdoor, reducing your nap time, and doing some exercise. Sunlight also helps the body to produce melatonin which regulates a person’s sleep cycle. So, expose yourself to sunlight for at least a couple of hours every day. Also, avoid daytime naps of more than twenty minutes a day.